A roundup review of any fashion week would not be complete without these two: Alexander McQueen and Chanel. Awe Inspiring. Insert giddy sound effect.
Clearly, Sarah Burton was a big fan of Black Swan, as this collection seems to be heavily inspired by it - the themes are written all over it. In an almost entirely black and white color palette (with a little bit of grey), this collection oscillates between soft and innocent (organza! feathers! white!) and touch and harsh (leather, lace up shoes, structured shoulders, grommets and zippers, black). It is literally the Snow Queen and Dark Queen come to life, walking down the runway, even existing together at times in one look- because isn’t there a little bit of both in all of us (as Natalie Portman’s character finds out)? In the gown on the top left below, Sarah has mixed a fluffy, raw edged off-white organza skirt with a corset made out of collaged sharp broken china (I wish I could see this up close and personal!).
Sarah’s use of texture and different materials within each garment without looking ostentatious and overdone is divinely impressive, it’s what sets this collection apart from the crowd. Equally impressive is her ability to channel Mr. McQueen and honor his established aesthetic while still forging her own identity within his brand after his death. She purposefully used “heritage silhouettes” and stuck to the heavily designed drama as an ode to the brand’s legacy, yet there is something so beautifully feminine about these pieces of art that make them all hers. You have to applaud the girl for being able to strike this balance appropriately, not easy. You go, Sarah. I love this fairy tale fantasy collection and I am so on Team McQueen for the choice of Princess Kate’s wedding dress.
“Lee’s mind was so different to anyone else’s … I knew there was no way I could pretend to be him. But I’ve worked here for so long, there’s been a big part of me in those collections all along the way.” – Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen’s longtime right-hand woman, and now Creative Director of his brand post his death (via VogueUK.com)
and then there’s Chanel
Yep, sigh, Karl has done it again. I think what made me instantly love this collection so much is for the same reason that many girls my age (who like a little edge) loved it: I can relate to it, I get it, I want it. All of it. Karl had to have been inspired by The Sartorialist as all of these awesome looks are straight off of the street: a perfect blend of high and low, uptown and downtown, soft and structured. He has mixed hip styling (long uneven layers, skinny leggings, slouchy trousers, cape silhouettes, baggy leg warmers, beat up boots, undone hair) with luxe Chanel lady-like classics (tweed, bouclé and houndstooth, chain-strap structured purses, two piece suits). This is the (fog drenched, macabre forest fantasy themed) runway equivalent of the girl wearing Gap jeans and her favorite worn-to-death boots, carrying a Chanel Quilted handbag. Only Karl, who hangs out with Florence Welch and Blake Lively, could make Chanel this cool.
don’t worry, the lady-like will be back next season, it always is
au revoir Paris, til next time